Home North pole ice Fossil shows dinosaurs got sick like us

Fossil shows dinosaurs got sick like us


This illustration shows what Dolly looked like 150 million years ago. (Woodruff et al. (2022), Corbin Rainbolt)

Estimated reading time: 4-5 minutes

ATLANTA — “Life will find a way.”

These words are spoken by the fictional Dr. John Hammond in the “Jurassic World Dominion” trailer, serving as a nod to the upcoming film as he plays with an intriguing and terrifying “what if”: dinosaurs and long-extinct humans ever co-exist, or would it be an ecological disaster?

Luckily, that’s a reality we don’t have to face – and we can still enjoy the unusual sight of snow-capped hadrosaurs, thanks to the magic of Hollywood cinema. The jaw-dropping glimpses of the movie’s dinosaurs seem more scientifically accurate than ever.

Particularly tantalizing teasers from the film include a velociraptor sporting colorful feathers and its colossal reptilian cousin Quetzalcoatlus, a flying pterosaur, depictions we’ve only ever seen in research.

Dinosaurs can capture our imaginations at any age, but much of what we once knew about these ancient creatures is being rewritten. And this week, we learned one of the ways dinosaurs weren’t so different from us.


If you’ve ever struggled with flu-like symptoms, you’ll feel for Dolly.

This young, long-necked dinosaur, nicknamed Dolly Parton, probably suffered from coughing, sneezing and fever around 150 million years ago.

When scientists took a closer look at the fossil, found in southwestern Montana, they noticed abnormal bony protrusions in Dolly’s neck.

Diplodocid developed an infection that spread to the bones of his neck and possibly caused his death, researchers say. This is the first evidence of a respiratory infection preserved in a dinosaur fossil – and it shows that dinosaurs got sick, just like us.

We are a family

The discovery of a child’s tooth in a French cave changes what we know about early humans.

The small molar was found along with hundreds of stone tools dated to around 54,000 years ago, meaning Homo sapiens lived in Europe 10,000 years earlier than archaeologists thought.

The tooth was also found sandwiched between layers of Neanderthal remains, suggesting that these ancient ancestors co-existed with humans in Western Europe.

This discovery challenges the idea that the arrival of the first humans led to the downfall and extinction of Neanderthals, who lived across Europe and Asia for 300,000 years before disappearing from the planet. .

secrets of the ocean

Deep under the ice-covered arctic sea lies a vast garden of sponges.

A polar research expedition aboard the RV Polarstern came across sponges that have clustered on top of extinct underwater volcanoes.

Despite the lack of nutrients in this freezing water near the North Pole, communities of 300-year-old sponges are thriving thanks to an unusual source: fossils.

The remains of extinct animals and wildlife litter the seabed, where they once depended on the heat and nutrients provided by volcanic activity thousands of years ago. Now they serve as an energy source for the sponges.

But this newly discovered ecosystem could be under threat as the planet heats up.

Other worlds

Venus has often been called Earth’s twin because the two planets are similar in size, but one planet is hot enough to melt lead, while the other supports life.

Looking under the thick cloud cover of Venus helps scientists understand why these worlds evolved differently.

The Parker Solar Probe, whose mission is to study the sun, has captured new images of Venus during a flyby. Beneath the hazy shroud of its atmosphere, our sister planet is practically illuminated.

Venus is so hot that one researcher has compared the planet’s thermal glow to the luminescence of “a piece of iron mined from a forge”.

fantastic creatures

When a chimpanzee mother named Suzee noticed that her son, Sia, had an injured foot, she ripped something out of the air and applied it to his wound.

Researchers at Loango National Park in Gabon took a closer look and realized that she was catching flying insects and using them as medicine.

This photo shows female chimp Roxy (right) applying an insect to a wound on the face of a male chimp named Thea (left).
This photo shows female chimp Roxy (right) applying an insect to a wound on the face of a male chimp named Thea (left). (Photo: Tobias Deschner via CNN)

It was just one of many instances at the park of chimpanzees filmed tending to their own wounds, as well as the wounds of others.

Scientists have never witnessed this kind of behavior before, and it may be a sign of useful tendencies in chimpanzees similar to empathy in humans.


It’s been a week for wild finds:

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